2009 Updates coming soon.......Luis died 3 years ago and I still miss him, his laugh and twinkling eyes melted your heart.
I love the sound as the line peels off the spool, the feeling of adrenaline pumping through my veins, the tingle of excitement and anticipation and the contentment when the fish are safely in my boat or on my kayak.
I have been having a fantastic time fishing from Middle Head to up past Roseville Bridge. I have even ventured into Sydney Harbour a few times visiting Manly, Dobroyd, Wedding Cakes and Sow and Pigs. It is interesting dodging the Manly Ferries and huge motor cruisers in my little tinny and I must say I was a touch apprehensive when anchoring at Dobroyd and flicking lures at Wedding Cakes, my sense of adventure has certainly been heightened. I bought the little tinny at Christmas from Idris an Artist and Lecturer at Cofa, it use to belong to his dad so is old but sturdy and as much as I love my Kayak, fishing for kings is so much easier in the boat.
I am out and about on the water all weekend, some mornings and afternoons......and often venture up to the Spit Bridge in my Kayak at night. I fish in the rain, on beautiful sunny days, on cold wet rainy days, in almost all conditions and love them all with equal measure. There is something so special about being on the water, dangling a line, drawing or taking photographs. My idea of bliss.
From november to April I have caught a Port Jackson shark, released unharmed, 6 hammerhead sharks, released, the largest measuring 1.1mt, a 110cm bronze whaler, released, interesting retrieving the hooks from those guys, seven kingfish from 69 to 61.5cm, copious flathead, the largest measuring 73cm, 69cm, 65cm (yes some were released), a beautiful 38cm bream, lots of smaller ones around 32-35cm, snapper the largest measuring 40cm, flounder, sole, scooped up in a net, lots of calamari squid, a few arrow squid, huge leatherjacket's, fantail and chinermans, tailor, mullet, yellowtail, frigate mackerel, numb rays on lure and blue swimmer crabs on hand lines and in a dilly.... yum oh and eek octopus, those guys scare me. Got busted off a couple of times by large fish and once by a seriously large fish that left me shaking all over, it was so exciting, I need to learn more about drag and retrieval, trial and error is just so annoying. Unfortunately no jewfish, soon......
Two of my Kings were caught in Middle Harbour whilst fishing from my kayak, I was targeting snapper with a hand line and strips of chicken when a few dark shapes appeared middwater so I pulled back the sinker and floated the strips down under a moored boat and presto Kingfish. The first one was not destined to be dinner, he busted off, but the second king was not so lucky. After trying to catch kings and being busted off over the past twelve months I was ecstatic, although late for work. opps.
Just after Christmas my neighbor Gail, her son Josh and I went fishing near the Spit Bridge early one evening, I was busy baiting up everyone's hooks as they were catching lots of little squire. I had given them cork hand lines to use and worm for bait. The three of us were sitting in the pouring rain when Gail was almost pulled overboard, good thing she was hanging on tightly to the cork, flathead was our first thought until it took off again and they passed the line to me..... mmm.. large, fast flathead, oh well lucky for us that I had a rain jacket on and was able to wrap the line around my arm as I pulled him up, no time for the net, plop into the boat, we did not know what kind of fish it was as it was almost pitch black, after fumbling for the light, a kingfish lay at our feet, good thing it was a small one..60.5cm , Gail's first King. We screamed and laughed with delight, it was a such a surreal scene that when I cut its throat and blood squirted everywhere turning our already water sodden tinny into a bright red bath we all stood in silence before bursting into laughing again. Gail's kingfish was the first kingfish I had seen, let alone help catch. We were drenched to the skin when we arrived home but still so excited, we could not wait to show off Gail's beautiful king.
Steven and Sarah-Jane, my son and my daughter inlaw were my next guests, we needed to fit in with the babies, so a late afternoon fish in Middle Harbour was all we could manage. It was cold and raining but we still caught squid and a few little bream. Our second fishing adventure was more productive, we drifting just off Balmoral and managed to catch some nice bream, flathead, flounder, octopus and a large shovel nosed ray. Poor Sarah-Jane was overcome by seasickness as it was quite choppy, but she still managed to catch the most fish. She was lucky enough to go fishing in Ecuador a few years ago and has a fantastic photo of her and the Piranha she caught. It is a joy to watch her fish, her laughter is so contagious.
Anna, a friend from Cofa, come out fishing with me next, I made her catch her dinner. She had been working at Max Brenner, that delicious chocolate shop and I had had a week from hell, a little R & R was most welcome. We started with a glass of wine and a tour around Middle Harbour, we ended up drifting across Balmoral as the moon rose between the heads, the timing was impeccable, it was breathtaking, both of us were in total awe, Anna had never seen the moon rise over the water before, I am sure she will remember it for a long tome, Anna caught four 30-32cm snapper on hand lines, her first fish, I only caught one 32cm one and a 1mt Shovelnose ray. Dinner was delicious, steamed snapper in Tai style broth server with Italian pasta, red wine and Max Brenner chocolate for desert. Anna is now working in America with the love of her life.
Saturday May the 5th 2006: When an opportunity arose to spend a session out fishing with Craig McGillI from Fishabout Tours I jumped at it. I was fortunate enough to be sharing the days fishing with three mature gentlemen, what fun we had, firstly catching the squid, a shared responsibility, then out hunting for the kings. We tried Quarantine first, one of the guys caught travelly before we moved to Dobryod, nothing... then we went to one of the harbour marker buoys. We had barely put our baits into the water when presto... a salmon, a king, then I caught a king and unfortunately another guy's line was busted off. king or shark??? We caught another king and a beautiful Bream before we moved further into the harbour. After anchored we found ourselves in the middle of a yacht race, unfortunately no more Kings but a nice bream. I was happy with my king but as usual I would like to catch more fish. I hope everyone enjoyed themselves as much as I did. It was an adventure not to be missed, a picture perfect day on Sydney Harbour, a great Guide, kingfish, good company and laughter.
Sunday, Mothers Day I spent 16 hours out on the water, firstly catching squid or trying to catch squid, I only managed one. Then to Nelsons Park in search of Kings, I only caught bream, taylor and travelly but stayed in the same spot all day, Around 4 my rod doubled over, snap went the line and away went the fish, too much drag.... or a really big fish. I found myself in the middle of a yacht race, that was thrilling but a little scary. Just on dark I went to Middle Head and sat in wonder as I watched the moon rise between the heads. I would have gone home had it not been such a beautiful evening. I tried my hand a luring at the Spit Bridge and picked up a nice 58cm dusky, a bream and a huge taylor. It began to rain which would have usually spelt an end to my adventures but a short wait under the bridge the rain stopped and the fish were waiting.....
May - Ahh finally an 80cm Kingfish, what a way to spend a cold and windy saturday morning. Live squid did the trick, and patience all the other fishermen left when this beauty took my bait.
Needless to say my family and neighbors are happy about feasting on kingfish sashimi, although I still think fresh crab is hard to beat, especially large crabs cooked in an Italian style soup with prawns, scallops, salmon and calamari and served with wood fired bread, olive oil, and French Champagne.
Ahh DIOXIN ...what a way to ruin a perfect dream, no more bream for dinner, or flathead, or crabs, or........ ONLY KINGFISH I need to try harder to consistently catching these guys.
See you on the water...
June - Too much time spent at work not enough time to enjoy the sun, the water and of cause the fishing. Bream seem to be the order of the day of late, with a few travelly and a few reds thrown in. Four meter swells, wind and rain have done their best to keep me indoors but have in fact given me the opportunity to take some great photographs of Sydney Harbour in the mist, howling wind and rain. Dawn and dusk are my favorite times it is a toss up whether to fish or take photographs. So set the line out, grab a couple of images, and back to fishing.
July - Still no jewfish even fishing live squid on the change of tides...and into the night.
What a treat huge squid the largest measuring 60cm long.
Amazingly cold on my kayak last night up at the Spit bridge, but fresh squid and pike are worth it.
leatherjacket, leatherjacket and more leatherjacket great fun on 3lb mono. Leatherjacket on lure now they are interesting, fantail as well as chinamans.
Great fun hooking a salmon although it was not so much fun when I dropped it just before netting it.
Saturday 22July I fished all day, 6am to 6pm for 2 tailor, 3 leatherjacket's, one on lure, a flathead, and a numb ray on lure. Numb rays on lure are beginning to be a tedious by catch when fishing for flathead, tricky getting the lure back from those guys.
Sunday 23rd July at Clontalf I caught a painted grinner on a small strip of squid and a numb ray scoffed it down as I was winding it in. Tailor, reds and flathead today, it is such a shame you can not eat Sydney Harbour fish.
July 30th 2006, Sunday, I left home at 6am, stopped at Clontalf where a flock of birds were working the shallows. On to Middlehead, were hundreds of birds, gulls, cormorants, fairy penguins and.....were attacking small bait fish, I took a few photographs, the chucked a lure around for a while, no luck. Over to Quarantine, I decided to go to Old mans Hat until the westerly wind cane up so turned around and settled inside ............ first cast a nice travelly, then another and another, Then some leatherjacket, all was quiet for a few moments then, two bronze whalers in a row, one on my hand line the other on the ugly stick, its is a bit tricky trying to get photos while holding the line. A short wait, a cup of coffee latter, two Hawks circled overhead and swooped down to pickup some discarded scraps form a boat that had just left, they were beautiful, circling around their heads straining down in order to spot a likely meal. Then I hooked a Port jackson shark on the hand line, he was so heavy, it took both hands and all my strength to get the net on board, a couple of photo, remove the hook and safely back in the water. A bust off on the 3lb line, then a bust off on the 20 lb vanish. Then two more Port jackson sharks, one on the ugly stick and one on a 2-3kg Wilson live fibre rod with 3lb line. A couple of red, the wind dropped, then I packed up and headed out towards Old Mans Hat, I drifted slowly out past Quarantine in the light westerly breeze when a pod of dolphins surrounded my boat and headed in the harbour towards Dobroyd. What an amazing experience. The sun was setting and I was still sitting in my boat amazed at my good fortune, the light was fading the water was lavender with smoky blue reflections. The sky was purple and blue with wisps of red floating on the tips of a couple of stray clouds. I headed for home, to my great joy, I came across a flock of 50 fairy penguins just off Dobroyd, what a shame I had no film left, next time. A slow troll into Middle Harbour, a quick stop at Clontalf, a flathead on the first cast, a great way to end a magical day.
August, love fishing, I caught large squid and Red Rock Cod , bream and small snapper out near North Head. What a great day. Dolphins all aroung me, and Sea Eagles above, what a magic moment.
5 weeks and no fishing, how I long to go fish, how I long to feel the water on ony legs. soooooooon.
Early moring fish at Clontalf before I go to work, I was trying to catch jewfish but ended up with an 80cm flathead, not bad, still I would love a jewfish.
Rain and more rain, my poor little boat sank, time for a paint job.
7 weeks and no fishing, except for a short spin in the Yellow Peril, my landlord boat, life is too complicated,...
October 23rd was a beautiful calm night so when I got home from work I took my boat for a spin around Middle Harbour, I had just finished painting her and installed nav lights so the timing was perfect. My boat is painted a variety of blue. indicative of how I feel. I decided to practice my luring so looked around until I found small fish creating a commotion and began to cast and retrieve a 13mm Black Gold Squidgy, I was totally lost in thought, remembering the laughter of Luis, my recently deceased friend Luis. It was a shock when the line peeled away from my reel, that unmistakable head shake specific to the jewfish shook me out of my melancholy and minutes later I landed a beautiful 90cm, 5.5kg jewfish. Luis had been my boyfriend for the past 6 3/4 years and gave me the rod and Daiwa reel for chiristmas, it was fitting that I caught such a beautiful fish for him. This one is for you Luis Quijarro. Luis loved to eat the crabs and fish I caught, but hardly found the time to come fishing with me. What a waste...sadness fills my days.
October 29th saturday morning fish at Clontalf and I only managed to catch a shovel nosed ray and a small king on a handline. Back to work I have an art project almost due and still have soo much work to do 16-18hr days don't leave much time for fishing, Thats 8-9 hours at work the 8-9 hours on my artwork.....
November 12th artwork till 9pm. I thought I would spend a couple of hours fishing to unwind, fishing is a great way to chill out. Back to the same spot that I caught my last jewfish, Daryn from Fishoutta Water said not to expect another fish to be in the same spot but I thought I would try again. This time I was spinning with a lummis rod, Spareos Reel loaded with 15LB fireline and a 13mm Squidgy Black Gold Fish, I also set out a strip of squid on a Wilsons Live Fibre rod a 2,000 Penn reel loaded with 3lb mono, I thought I would double my chances and perhaps pickup a bream. It seem that luck was with me and 15mins later I landed another beautiful Jew not on the spinning rig but on the 3lb line and Wilsons Life Fibre Rod. Lucky is all I can say. An image of this fish can be found in THE Miso and the Kingfisher Gallery. Time to go and do more artwork my deadline is the 6th of December 3m x2mt glass and canvas for a major art competition in Sydney, Kings will have to wait. Saddened by the death of Luis artwork artwork artwork. so much still to do the deadline is close. .....Miso and the Kingfisher Gallery.
See you on the water...